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COP28 should not be ‘another talk show’: Pan-African Parliament

African lawmakers are pushing for a year of action ahead of COP28 in Dubai, avowing they’re tired of empty promises from developed nations.

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By Steve Umidha, bird story agency

African lawmakers have wrapped up COP27 on a pugnacious note, urging government ministers and negotiators from the continent not to leave Egypt without signed contracts – and to ensure that next year’s COP28 in Dubai “doesn’t become another talk show”.

The Pan-African Parliament (PPA) is the African Union’s legislative arm.

Its negotiators have spent the last ten days pushing the continent’s climate agenda. One of its biggest challenges has been the thorny issue of loss and damage financing for the countries hardest hit by climate change’s effects.

Behind the scenes, frustrations flared as negotiators worked to push developed nations towards firm commitments, as well as tabling demands related to Africa’s renewable energy transition.

At its briefing, though, the body was more sanguine.

“The issue has been these countries (developed nations) do not want to come on board, they want to determine terms for us as Africans, which I think has been a major challenge to (previous COPs).

But we are hopeful this will not be the case this time. A ratification must be achieved here,” said Thembekile Richard Majola, a South African politician and chairperson of the PPA’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline.

Wealthy nations have insisted that an existing mechanism, 2001’s Adaptation Fund, is enough to address the issue of loss and damage. However, African diplomats argue that this fund and other efforts, such as the Green Climate Fund, have failed to deliver measurable results.

They point out that such facilities are not easily accessible to African countries. If the PPA’s goal is not met, Majola said, the body would marshal parliamentarians from all African legislative assemblies and civil society groupings to create an “enforcement mechanism” to drive the continent’s agenda on climate change.

“We are going to gather and discuss these issues and look at these stumbling blocks and why the signing and ratification are not achieved, and if we find out where the issues are, then we are going to take action, we believe it is a year of action,” Majola said.

bird story agency

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